Finding an Accredited Online Graduate Course

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Graduate Online Courses From Private and Public Universities

Season 1, Ep. 221

For those interested in taking an online graduate course, many accredited distance learning options are available. I write my papers in detail, so will I share some of the best places look.

While many students who look to distance learning institutions do so because they are seeking a full degree program, some prospective students simply want to either complete a degree or supplement their skills and knowledge with a few online classes.


This article will present an overview of some of the best places students can find a quality online graduate course.


State University Systems

Students should begin by examining their state's public university network, as many states have established broad and diverse higher education systems which include advanced research institutions. For example, the State University of New York (SUNY) system has developed a large web of universities, many of which offer distance learning options.


To find a list of public universities at which students may enroll in distance learning classes, contact either a given state's Department of Education or the offices of the state's public university system. Be sure to request information on those universities which offer online distance learning options.


Finding an Online Graduate Course at For-Profit Universities

A number of large, for-profit online universities exist, many of which offer dynamic distance learning opportunities through which students may enroll in individual classes. This section details some well-established options.


Capella University, with over 100 advanced degree programs, offers a tremendous amount of Master's and Ph.D. level courses via a fully asynchronous schedule. Below are its Master's degree offerings, from which students can enroll in individual classes:


  • MBA – Accounting
  • MBA – Finance
  • MBA – General Business Administration
  • MBA – Global Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • MBA – Health Care Management
  • MBA – Human Resource Management
  • MBA – Information Technology Management
  • MBA – Marketing
  • MBA – Project Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Information Technology
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Development
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Enrollment Management
  • Instructional Design for Online Learning
  • K-12 Studies in Education
  • Leadership in Educational Administration
  • Leadership for Higher Education
  • Postsecondary and Adult Education
  • Professional Studies in Education
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Special Education Teaching
  • Training and Performance Improvement
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Counseling Studies
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Sport Psychology
  • General Public Administration
  • General Human Services
  • Gerontology
  • Health Care Administration
  • Management of Nonprofit Agencies
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Educator Bridge
  • Social and Community Services
  • Public Safety
  • General Public Health
  • Health Management and Policy
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences


Below are Capella University's PhD degree programs:


  • Accounting
  • General Business
  • Information Technology
  • Organization and Management
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Instructional Design for Online Learning
  • Nursing Education
  • K-12 Studies in Education
  • Leadership in Educational Administration
  • Leadership for Higher Education
  • Postsecondary and Adult Education
  • Professional Studies in Education
  • Training and Performance Improvement
  • General Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Counseling Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • General Public Administration
  • General Human Services
  • Health Care Administration
  • Management of Nonprofit Agencies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management
  • Public Safety Leadership
  • Social and Community Services

Ashford University, based in Clinton, Iowa, has a fully asynchronous academic schedule. Its Master's degree programs, through which students may enroll in individual classes, include:


  • Education
  • Health Care Administration
  • Organizational Management
  • Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Public Administration

Kaplan University, one of the larger distance learning for-profit institutions, has an academic schedule which balances live classes with an asynchronous schedule. Below are its Master's degree programs:

  • Business Administration
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Teaching (noncertification outside of Iowa)
  • Education
  • Information Technology
  • Legal Studies
  • Nursing

In addition to the above three examples, a number of established online universities exist at which students can find advanced distance learning classes. Among these are Strayer University, University of Phoenix, Walden University, and DeVry University.


Finding an Online Graduate Course at Nonprofit Universities

While fewer nonprofit distance learning universities exist at which students may find dynamic options, Western Governors University (WGU) is a school which stands apart as a dedicated, fully online institution.


WGU is a unique school supported by 19 governors. Known for its competency-based degrees, WGU offers a portfolio of skills which students must attain, rather than the acquisition of credit hours. While this university might not be right for those looking to accumulate credit hours to be applied to an uncompleted degree from another school, it may be a good option for those looking to acquire individual skills or knowledge. Below are some of its Master's degree programs:


  • Master of Teaching (K-8)
  • Master of Teaching, Mathematics
  • Master of Teaching, Science
  • Master of Teaching, Social Science
  • Master of Special Education (PK-12)
  • Master of Educational Leadership
  • Master of ELL/ESL (PK-12)
  • Master of Science Education (5-9)
  • Master of Science Education (Chemistry, 5-12)
  • Master of Science Education (Physics, 5-12)
  • Master of Science Education (Biological Sciences, 5-12)
  • Master of Science (Geogsciences, 5-12)
  • Master of Instructional Design
  • Master of Learning and Technology
  • Master of Measurement and Evaluation
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • M.B.A. Information Technology Management
  • M.B.A. Healthcare Management
  • Master of Information Security and Assurance
  • M.B.A. Information Technology Management
  • Master of Nursing – Education
  • Master of Nursing – Leadership and Management
  • Master of Nursing – Education (RN to MSN option)
  • Master of Nursing – Leadership and Management (RN to MSN option)
  • M.B.A. Healthcare Management

It should be noted that state universities are also typically nonprofit institutions, though they aren't dedicated solely to distance learning.


Benefits of an Online Graduate Course

For students either looking to complete an unfinished degree or simply interested in attaining additional knowledge, distance learning provides a level of flexibility which cannot be matched by campus-based programs.


Students are encouraged to compare nonprofit, for-profit, and state universities to find the best learning option.


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